Are there metaphors in law? This may sound a trivial question to someone who would expect a negative answer, or a milder one in case they fantasise about artistic metaphors used by lawyers in their oratories to convince a Justice of their arguments. In reality, not only is metaphor present in any language, including the language of law, but metaphor has also been found by cognitive linguists to play a crucial role in thinking and meaning in general, not just in persuasive discourse. Legal thinking and legal meaning are no exception to this finding. In this chapter I intend to suggest a few directions in the study of metaphor in law in which the researcher, especially the linguist, can go. I also wish to show some of the tools and methods that they can use for the purpose, as well as the risks that they will need to face, especially if they address metaphors in languages other than English. Despite the growing body of case studies on metaphor in law focusing on this or that word, what is missing so far is a comprehensive vision of law, possibly different to that of Anglo-American common law, looked at through the cognitive perspective of metaphor, in the vein of Steven Winter’s book A Clearing in the Forest.
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